GMCW’s ‘Holiday Show’ to ring in a season celebrating LGBTQ+ grit

Now in its 41st year, the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington returns to live performance to sing of the community's perseverence.

Tap-dancing elves and drag queens return to the Lincoln Theatre for Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s hugely popular The Holiday Show. The festive program includes favorites from “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and “Super Gay Christmas” and features performances from the full chorus, soloists, and GMCW ensembles; Potomac Fever, Rock Creek Singers, Seasons of Love, and GenOUT Youth Chorus.

The Holiday Show performs four times — Saturday, December 4, 2021, at 8 pm; Saturday, December 11 at 3 pm and 8 pm; and Sunday, December 12 at 3 pm — at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC. Tickets ($25–$65) are on sale online. ASL-interpreted performances ($25) are December 11 and 12 at 3 pm. Face masks and proof of vaccination are required to attend all performances at the Lincoln Theatre.

The Holiday Show kicks off GMCW’s 2021/22 season, a return to live performances at venues across the District in celebration of the perseverance of the LGBTQ+ community against the backdrop of some of the nation’s most historic moments of the 20th century.

GMCW Artistic Director Thea Kano explains:

This season embodies our mission to create music, inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and promote social justice and dignity for all, no matter how challenging the landscape is.

Celebrating our 40th anniversary during a global health pandemic was a stark reminder of our ability to persevere and survive the tough times. It compelled us to consider our history and our hopes and dreams for the future, both for our community and for the nation. We are excited to come together in-person to honor the past, celebrate the present, and embrace the future.

IT’S A GAS!  (Great American Songbook)
February 13, 2022
City Winery
Tickets: $45 on sale January 3, 2022

In February, members of the Chorus will showcase some of their favorite songs by African American singers and songwriters from the early 20th century. It’s A GasThe Great American Songbook is an intimate cabaret-style event that will feature music from jazz greats including Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and many more.

March 12, 2022
Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: $25–65. On sale February 1, 2022

Inspired by lyrics from “The Human Heart” from Once on This IslandBrand New Day explores stories of loved ones establishing acceptance and love from their chosen families. The notion that we dream our dreams, we have our hopes, we choose our home, we chose our family, and we are part of the human heart is brought to life with songs from musicals including The WizChess, and Dear Evan Hansen along with songs performed in Spanish and Korean.

“The ones who came before you
The others yet to come
And those who you will teach it to
And those you learned it from”

(Lyrics from The Human Heart)

April 24, 2022
MLK Library
Tickets: $25 (free for 18 and under). On sale March 1, 2022

GMCW’s GenOUT Youth Chorus returns for their annual concert, Youth Invasion. Under the direction of C. Paul Heins, the concert will feature special guest Mosaic Harmony, the Virginia-based community choir focused on diversity and inclusion.


May 14, 2022
The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC
Tickets: To Be Announced

Spring Affair the annual black-tie gala fundraising party returns with Spring Affair. Special guest emcee to be announced soon.

June 4, 2022
Lincoln Theatre
Tickets: On sale May 2, 2022

The season closes with Unbreakable by composer Andrew Lippa (I Am Harvey Milk, Broadway’s The Wild Party, The Addams Family, Big Fish). This musical chronology of LGBTQ+ lives in America through the 20th century is a tribute to the perseverance and power of people who would not be defeated and could not be broken. Featuring celebrated jazz vocalist Nova Payton, who won a Helen Hayes Award in 2012 for her portrayal of Motormouth Mabel in Hairspray at Signature Theatre, and soprano Amy Broadbent, from the United States Navy Band Sea Chanters Chorus, this stunning choral work presents stories from American LGBTQ history including Harvard’s “Secret Court” of 1920, the life of transgender and gay activist Sylvia Rivera, The Lavender Scare, and the remarkable work of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams. (June 4, 2022)

COVID-19 Guidelines
As GMCW prepares to return to live, in-person musical gatherings, the health and safety of all artists and patrons remains our top priority. We will abide by the health and safety policies and protocols in place at the venues we utilize for our performances and we will continue to follow advice from the CDC regarding singing in large groups. As such, all concerts and events are subject to change

All shows and events are subject to change.


Led by Artistic Director Thea Kano, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) is now in its 41st season. GMCW sings to inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and education promoting justice and dignity for all. GMCW has more than 300 singing members, three select ensembles, a dance company, a youth chorus, 50 support volunteers, more than 300 subscribers, 500 donors, and an annual audience of more than 10,000 people.

The Chorus and its ensembles keep a very busy schedule with more than 100 outreach performances each season and almost 5,000 volunteer outreach hours. Past outreach performances have included the HRC National Dinner, National Institutes of Health, Whitman Walker Health, DC Flag Football, and Washington National Cathedral. In June 2019, GMCW performed live on NBC-TV’s The Today Show as part of their coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. In May 2016, GMCW ensemble Potomac Fever traveled to Ukraine for a historic LGBT music and outreach tour. In July 2015, members of GMCW embarked on a first-ever tour by a gay chorus to Cuba. Since June of 2017, each year over 100 members of GMCW traveled to different states spreading music and a message of equality for all. States visited include NC, SC, AL, GA, TN, WV, OH, PA and NY. In August 2019, members of GMCW gave a special concert and participated in Reykjavik Pride in Reykjavik, Iceland.

GMCW has performed for President and First Lady Obama, eight consecutive years at Vice President and Dr. Biden’s residence, at the historic Carnegie Library in honor of gay rights activist Dr. Frank Kameny, twice at the Kennedy Center Honors, and as part of the inaugural celebrations for President Obama and President Clinton.

GMCW has won three Washington Area Music Awards (WAMMIE) – for Best Classical Recording, Best Choral Recording, and Best Choral Group. GMCW sponsors four select outreach ensembles: Potomac Fever, a close-harmony pop group; Rock Creek Singers, a chamber music ensemble; Seasons of Love, an inspirational and gospel group; and 17th Street Dance, a dance ensemble.

Since 2001, the Chorus has maintained a robust youth outreach program, GenOUT, that offers on-school-time programs, as well as free tickets to high school students, parents, and teachers. In 2015, GMCW launched the GenOUT Chorus, the first LGBTQ youth chorus in the District area. Since its debut in spring 2015, more than 110 students from over 60 area schools have participated in GenOUT.

GMCW is a member of Chorus America, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses), and the Cultural Alliance of Washington.


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